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Science Fiction As a Vehicle for Social Commentary
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Through this unit of study, students will come to realize the potential ...

Through this unit of study, students will come to realize the potential and power of science fiction as a vehicle for social commentary. Students will be reading and viewing various works of science fiction that make statements on current issues. The novel, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, will serve as our primary text. Besides exploring the ways in which other writers have used the genre for social commentary, students will research a current issue with which they are concerned. Based on the research, each student will write a science fiction story to illustrate the issue.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Homework and Assignments
Lesson Plans
Unit of Study
Provider:
Oakland Unified School District
Provider Set:
Urban Dreams - Core Literature
Author:
P. Pugh
Topics in Indian Popular Culture: Spectacle, Masala, and Genre, Fall 2006
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Subject aims to provide an overview of Indian popular culture over the ...

Subject aims to provide an overview of Indian popular culture over the last two decades, through a variety of material such as popular fiction, music, television and Bombay cinema. Explores major themes and their representations in relation to current social and political issues. In particular, examines the elements of the formulaic "masala movie", music and melodrama, the ideas of nostalgia and incumbent change in youth culture, as well as shifting questions of gender and sexuality in popular fiction. Students review journalistic writing, advertising clips, and political cartoons to understand the relation between the popular culture and the social imagery of a nation. Taught in English.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Banerjee, Arundhati
Popular Culture and Narrative: Literature, Comics, and Culture, Fall 2010
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In this course, we will investigate popular culture and narrative by focusing ...

In this course, we will investigate popular culture and narrative by focusing on the relationship between literary texts and comics. Several questions shape the syllabus and provide a framework for approaching the course materials: How do familiar aspects of comics trace their origins to literary texts and broader cultural concerns? How have classic comics gone on to influence literary fiction? In what ways do contemporary graphic narratives bring a new kind of seriousness of purpose to comics, blurring what's left of the boundaries between the highbrow and the lowbrow? Readings and materials for the course range from the nineteenth century to the present, and include novels, short stories, essays, older and newer comics, and some older and newer films. Expectations include diligent reading, active participation, occasional discussion leading, and two papers.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Material Type:
Homework and Assignments
Readings
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Picker, John
Popular Culture
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Many forms of entertainment and leisure activities people participated in during the ...

Many forms of entertainment and leisure activities people participated in during the early decades of the 20th century are not that different from those we enjoy today. At the turn of the century people found entertainment at carnivals and festivals and exhibitions. Photographs here include the California Midwinter International Exposition in San Francisco in 1894, and the Anaheim Carnival of 1911. Sports were also a popular pastime. Photographs show people participating in tennis and golf, but spectator sports were also popular. In 1929, Miss Jessie Darnley apparently swam her way to the title of Miss Anaheim in a pool filled with three tons of oranges. A number of players became celebrities, as witnessed by publicity stills of baseball greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Carl Klindt. Electricity and improved communications meant that entertainment was no longer confined to live theater. People turned to the radio for both information and entertainment. One photograph shows the family of a Democratic nominee for US Senator, Sheridan Downey, gathered around the radio listening to election results. Another depicts a live radio broadcast. During this era the film industry boomed in Hollywood, generating popular images and mythologies surrounding the movies and movie stars. Photographs in this group include some on-set shots of actors, directors, and movie-making equipment. The owner of the famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Sid Grauman, is pictured with film star Mary Pickford. Other images include silent film stars, the original "Our Gang" cast at the opening of the Broadway Theater, and a shot of the Spreckels Theater on the night of a Three Stooges film premiere in 1934.As had been true for centuries, people enjoyed music, literature, and the arts. Images here include jazz musicians performing and a studio portrait of Roland Hayes, considered one of the greatest tenors in the 1920s. Popular literary figures pictured include author Upton Sinclair, whose 1906 book The Jungle helped raise popular awareness about food processing and contributed in large part to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. Photographs of poets and writers who wrote about or resided in California include Joaquin Miller, George Sterling, Charles Warren Stoddard, Robinson Jeffers, Edwin Markham, and Mary Austin (standing in front of a mural with Mexican artist Diego Rivera).

Subject:
Performing Arts
Material Type:
Images and Illustrations
Lesson Plans
Primary Source
Readings
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Provider:
University of California
Provider Set:
Calisphere - California Digital Library
Examining Transcendentalism through Popular Culture
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Using excerpts from the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David ...

Using excerpts from the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, comics, and songs from different musical genres, students examine the characteristics of transcendentalism.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Unit of Study
Provider:
ReadWriteThink
Provider Set:
ReadWriteThink
Creating a Class Pattern Book With Popular Culture Characters
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Students hit the hallways with their favorite pop culture characters in this ...

Students hit the hallways with their favorite pop culture characters in this lesson to photograph the characters in various situations and then write about the pictures in a pattern-book structure.

Subject:
Language, Grammar and Vocabulary
Reading Foundation Skills
Reading Informational Text
Reading Literature
Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
ReadWriteThink
Provider Set:
ReadWriteThink
Studio Seminar in Public Art, Spring 2006
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Focuses on the production of visual art for public places outside the ...

Focuses on the production of visual art for public places outside the gallery/museum context. Readings and discussions that engage aesthetic, social, political, and urban issues relevant to this expanded public context complement studio production. Traditional approaches of enhancement and commemoration are contrasted to more temporal and critical methodologies. Historical models are studied and discussed, including Russian Constructivist experiments, the Situationists, Conceptual Art, and more recent interventionist tactics.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Art History
Performing Arts
Visual Arts
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Full Course
Lecture Notes
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Muntadas, Antonio
Move With the Music
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Invite students to share and discuss a song of their choice with ...

Invite students to share and discuss a song of their choice with lyrics that contain a social, political or cultural message relevant to a contemporary social justice issue. Students will lead their peers through a close reading and discussion of the song’s lyrics, and create a written analysis of the song, its lyrics, and its message. To help anchor their analysis, teachers may use the Critical Literacy Text-Dependent Question Stems template in the lesson. Students can organize their writing along the eight areas, while choosing from the list of prompts in each area. (Note: Teacher discretion will be necessary for handling lyrics that use explicit language.) Use the suggested activity and strategies below to empower students to lead the lesson with their peers as the students.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Southern Poverty Law Center
Provider Set:
Teaching Tolerance
Tapping the Roots of American Music
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Teacher's Guide for using the American Roots Music documentary series in the ...

Teacher's Guide for using the American Roots Music documentary series in the classroom. The resources offered here are designed to help you use the PBS American Roots Music video series and companion Web site in middle school and high school social studies and history classes. American Roots Music may be taped off-air and used for up to a year following broadcast, or you may choose to purchase it through Shop PBS for Teachers.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Audio Lectures
Lesson Plans
Provider:
PBS
James Baldwin: Art, Sexuality and Civil Rights
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In this lesson, students will revisit the life of James Baldwin, an ...

In this lesson, students will revisit the life of James Baldwin, an African-American literary writer and critic, as well as an icon for civil and gay rights. Far ahead of his time, Baldwin was Ňout and proudÓ before that term became a popular cultural idiom. BaldwinŐs life illuminates not just the intersection between gay rights and civil rights, but perhaps even more importantly, the connections among self-identification, artistic expression and political activism. This lesson is part of ŇThe Role of Gay Men and Lesbians in the Civil Rights MovementÓ Series.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Lesson Plans
Readings
Provider:
Southern Poverty Law Center
Provider Set:
Teaching Tolerance
Is Superman Really All That Super? Critically Exploring Superheroes
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What makes a superhero super? By comparing popular culture superheroes with heroic ...

What makes a superhero super? By comparing popular culture superheroes with heroic characters in childrenŐs literature, students learn to think critically about character traits, and consider how cultural perspectives influence the kinds of heroes we choose.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
ReadWriteThink
Provider Set:
ReadWriteThink
Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace, Fall 2005
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This course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience‰ŰÓspecifically, ...

This course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience‰ŰÓspecifically, prose grounded in, though not confined to, personal narrative and perspective. The focus of our reading and your writing will be American popular culture, broadly defined. That is, you will write essays that engage elements and aspects of contemporary American popular culture and that do so via a vivid personal voice and presence.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Faery, Rebecca Blevins
War and American Society, Fall 2002
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Throughout American history, war has presented challenges and the experience of war ...

Throughout American history, war has presented challenges and the experience of war has shaped the ways that Americans think about themselves, their fellow citizens, and the meanings of American citizenship. Subject examines how Americans have told the stories of modern war in history, literature, and popular culture, and interprets them in terms of changing ideas about American identity.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Literature
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Capozzola, Christopher
Journalists Pay Homage to Babe Ruth and the House That He Built
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Baseball's growing popularity in the 1920s can be measured by structural and ...

Baseball's growing popularity in the 1920s can be measured by structural and cultural changes that helped transform the game, including the building of commodious new ballparks; the emergence of sports pages in daily urban newspapers; and the enormous popularity of radio broadcasts of baseball games. But baseball's grip on the American popular imagination also was fueled by the emergence in the 1920s of the game's most dominant player, George Herman "Babe" Ruth. Ruth's rise to stardom in these years was an essential part of an era when celebrities came to dominate the various forms of American popular culture: sports, especially baseball; radio; and the movies. In these short articles that appeared in the Literary Digest in 1921 and 1923, two baseball writers described the importance of the Ruthian home run and the majesty of Yankee Stadium, the new temple that Yankee management built in 1923 to accommodate the Babe.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Culture Shock!, Fall 2002
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This course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience--specifically, ...

This course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience--specifically, prose grounded in, but not confined to, personal narrative. That is, you will write essays that engage elements and aspects of contemporary American popular culture and that do so via a vivid personal voice and presence. In the coming weeks we will read a number of articles that address current issues in popular culture along with essays, pieces of carefully-crafted nonfiction, by writers, scientists, philosophers, poets, historians, literary scholars, and many others. These essays will address a great many subjects from the contemporary world, using personal narrative and memoir to launch and elaborate an argument or position or refined observation. And you yourselves will write a great deal in the variety of forms that the essay genre embraces, attending always to the ways your purpose in writing and your intended audience shape what and how you write.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
World Cultures
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Syllabi
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Faery, Rebecca Blevins
"I'm A Gizzard": The Vaudeville Comedy of Weber and Fields
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Immigrants and African Americans decisively shaped a multiethnic urban popular culture in ...

Immigrants and African Americans decisively shaped a multiethnic urban popular culture in the late 19th century, built in large measure on the emergence of vaudeville. Vaudeville blended slapstick comedy, blackface minstrelsy, and sentimental songs into a rich and highly popular cultural stew. Among the most successful vaudeville practitioners were two Jewish singers and comics from the mean streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side, Joe Weber and Lew Fields. Weber and Fields' routines usually featured broad stereotypes of German immigrants: Fields played "Meyer," the shrewd German slickster who wanted to "put one over" on Weber's "Mike," the dumb "Dutch" newcomer. At the peak of their popularity in 1904, Weber and Fields recorded this popular routine, "The Hypnotist," for commercial sale. Ironically, just a few months after recording this routine, the Weber and Fields team broke up, ending nearly three decades of public performances, the longest of any team in American popular theater.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"I Have a Thirst that Could Sink a Ship!": Early Vaudeville
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Immigrants and African Americans decisively shaped a multiethnic urban popular culture in ...

Immigrants and African Americans decisively shaped a multiethnic urban popular culture in the late 19th century, built in large measure on the emergence of vaudeville. Vaudeville blended slapstick comedy, blackface minstrelsy, and sentimental songs into a rich and highly popular cultural stew. Among the most successful vaudeville practitioners were two Jewish singers and comics from the mean streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side, Joe Weber and Lew Fields. Weber and Fields' routines usually featured broad stereotypes of German immigrants: Fields played "Meyer," the shrewd German slickster who wanted to "put one over" on Weber's "Mike," the dumb "Dutch" newcomer. At the peak of their popularity in 1904, Weber and Fields recorded this popular routine, "The Drinking Scene," for commercial sale. Ironically, just a few months after recording this routine, the Weber and Fields team broke up, ending nearly three decades of public performances, the longest of any team in American popular theater.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Readings
Provider:
American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
Provider Set:
Many Pasts (CHNM/ASHP)
Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Projectile Magic
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Students watch video clips from October Sky and Harry Potter and the ...

Students watch video clips from October Sky and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to learn about projectile motion. They explore the relationships between displacement, velocity and acceleration and calculate simple projectile motion. The objective of this activity is to articulate concepts related to force and motion through direct immersive interaction based on the theme, The Science Behind Harry Potter. Students' interest is piqued by the use of popular culture in the classroom.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Christine Hawthorne
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
Rachel Howser
Magical Motion
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Students watch video clips from the October Sky and Harry Potter and ...

Students watch video clips from the October Sky and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone movies to see examples of projectile motion. Then they explore the relationships between displacement, velocity and acceleration, and calculate simple projectile motion. The objective of this activity is to articulate concepts related to force and motion through direct immersive interaction based on "The Science Behind Harry Potter" theme. Students' interest is piqued by the use of popular culture in the classroom.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Christine Hawthorne
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
Rachel Howser
Statement of Principles
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Students will create their own work of art that serves as a ...

Students will create their own work of art that serves as a social commentary. Students will make a moral or ethical statement in their work and use elements of the Neoclassical style to communicate their message.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Images and Illustrations
Lesson Plans
Provider:
J. Paul Getty Museum
Provider Set:
Getty Education